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Announcements


Vapor Pin and our Europe distributor Ribble-Enviro will be exhibiting at the
Ground Gas 2018: Assessing and managing ground gas risk
Date: 01 March 2018 - Venue: Holiday Inn London - Kensington High Street, London, Wrights Lane W8 5SP
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Enjoyed listening to Tony McDonald with AZ solutions talk about pilot test at the Southeastern States VI Symposium. ... See MoreSee Less

Soil Gas Control Systems in New Construction (CC-1000). This new standard addresses RRNC construction for virtually
every building that is larger than a one- and two-family
dwelling. https://aarst-nrpp.com/wp/store/rrnc-for-larger-buildings-cc-1000/
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Great seeing everyone at last night's MSECA event. ... See MoreSee Less

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Any CSIA applications in vapor intrusion issues yet? Yes..Tom McHugh published ESTCP report ER-201025 which addresses CSIA for vapor intrusion. McHugh reported that CSIA could be effective in distinguishing between interior and subsurface vapor sources, but it often leads to inconclusive results and might be unsuitable at 50% of sites. Our experience with CSIA in groundwater has been inconclusive, so we continue to use indoor air/subslab ratios and other more conventional lines of evidence to distinguish between VI and background sources. ... See MoreSee Less

CYBER MONDAY SALE - Today only 10% off with Coupon Code VPCBRR ... See MoreSee Less

Vapor Pin Brazil is nearing fruition. Within the month we will be able to start accepting orders on our Brazil website and shipping vapor pins made in Brazil and from our Brazil fulfilment center. ... See MoreSee Less

In cooperation with the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG), Ohio Section, Cox-Colvin and others are participating in a 2-day course on vapor intrusion on October 24 and 25, 2017 in Delaware, Ohio. ... See MoreSee Less

A Wonderful Testimonal and a wonderful conference! ... See MoreSee Less

Main Content

Source Characterization


Using Vapor Pins® for Source Characterization
The Vapor Pin® is ideally suited for locating Volatile Organic Compound (VOC) contamination sources beneath pavement. Our experience is that most sites have sources of contamination that in addition to those associated with underground tanks and degreasing areas. Unsuspected source areas often correspond to former exterior doors that were obscured by later building expansion. Cox-Colvin has located such sources equipped with little more than some Vapor Pins®, a hammer drill, and a multi-gas meter.

Cox-Colvin’s approach to VOC source investigation consists of installing Vapor Pins® along a grid, allowing the points to equilibrate, and collecting readings with a multi-gas meter. With a team of two people, we’ve installed as many as 90 Vapor Pins® in one day, and sampled, removed the Vapor Pins®, and plugged the holes on the following day.

For source characterization, we normally install brass Vapor Pins® in the stick-up configuration on a grid spacing of 20 to 30 feet. We cover the Vapor Pins® with traffic cones and allow them to equilibrate for at least an hour. We then collect field readings with a hand-held multi-gas meter capable of measuring VOCs via Photo-Ionization Detector (PID), oxygen (O2), and Lower Explosive Limits (LEL). The PID indicates VOC sources. O2 in soil gas is normally lower than in air, but unusually low levels (<5%), especially with high LEL readings, are characteristic of methane generation (methanogenesis). Methanogenesis occurs when non-chlorinated solvents or other organic matter degrades at too high a rate for O2 replenishment.

After collecting field readings at all of the sample points, samples are collected from locations with elevated PID readings, and submitted to a laboratory for confirmation. Samples can be collected into evacuated glass vials, Bottle Vacs, Tedlar bags, Summa canisters, sorbent tubes, and potentially other devices. Some containers do not offer low enough reporting levels for vapor intrusion sampling, but low levels are probably not needed for locating contaminant sources.At the conclusion of sampling, remove the Vapor Pins® and fill the holes with hydraulic cement or caulk.

Urethane and polyurethane caulks are recommended by radon mitigation guidance for filling holes and cracks, but they contain VOCs that could interfere with subsequent sampling. Hydraulic cement does not contain VOCs, but it sets up quickly, making it potentially difficult to fill borings to total depth.
After removing the silicone sleeve and other plastic parts from the Vapor Pins®, decontaminated them for reuse. Cox-Colvin has a number of Vapor Pins® that they have used an average of seven or eight times with no breakage or damage.

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